By: Ri'Shawn Bassette | WALB News 10
November 11, 2019
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) -- Valdosta State University is planning to open their very own African American History Museum, all thanks to one of their professors.
“It represents a collection of over 30 plus years," said Roy Copeland.
A collection of dozens of items, set to be cemented into history with a place at the Copeland African American Museum.
“It’s important that the general community be aware of some of the contributions African-Americans made to this country," said Copeland.
He donated every artifact in the museum. Copeland said it all started with a birthday gift 30 years ago from his wife.
“From that, we parlayed the birthday gift to other gifts. Pretty soon we had roughly 100 items," said Copeland.
Copeland said two years ago, he realized that he acquired this amazing collection and had to figure what to do with it all.
“So we’re at that point in my family where we’re downsizing and the most obvious thing to do is to share these items with the public," he said.
He approached his colleagues with the idea of offering the collection to the university and the Valdosta community.
“I think it serves as an invitation to people to come to this university and look at what it has to offer beyond academics," Copeland said.
Both Copeland and Ashley Braswell are professors at the university. Braswell helped coordinate the museum and said they were delighted to get first dibs.
“We knew we had a challenge ahead of us but it was something that was worthy of their challenge and we’re so excited we were selected and honored to be the recipients for this," said Braswell.
Pretty soon, the group said they will be happy to open the collection up for the public’s delight as well.
“I think it’s an awesome thing for our students to be able to come out of class and just walk into a museum that reminds them of all the great contributions that were made throughout history," said Braswell.
The museum is expected to open in the coming months.
Copeland said that he would like to see the museum eventually grow and host thousands of people from all across the map.